Land Rover has released the first image of the new Discovery, which is due to go on sale in 2017.
It’s the fifth generation of a vehicle first released in 1989 that has sold more than 1.2 million units worldwide.
Land Rover is only showing us the new Discovery from the front – it will receive a full reveal at the Paris Motor Show on September 28 – but it’s clear the new model has been given a radical styling overhaul.
It’s much sleeker than the boxy Discovery 4, drawing design cues from the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport.
It will ride on Land Rover’s aluminium platform, which should deliver a huge weight saving and a corresponding improvement in fuel economy – particularly as it could now be light enough for Land Rover to give it a 2.0 litre diesel engine. The current Discovery is only sold with a 3.0 litre V6 unit.
The Discovery 5 will remain a full-sized seven seater, meaning that even those in the rearmost seats will get proper leg and head room.
Once again Land Rover is adding more style to the Discovery formula, as well as moving it more upmarket, closer to its Range Rover siblings.
Despite this, Land Rover says that the vehicle will be as capable off-road as ever, combining “British desirability with an unstoppable spirit of adventure”.
Rivals for the 2017 Discovery will include the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90, and like those cars it is likely that a hybrid version will be offered at some point.
Expect a more minimalist and technology-laden cabin.
The Discovery is built at Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull plant on the outskirts of Birmingham which was visited last week by Prime Minister Theresa May.
Some 1,213,060 ‘Discos’ have been sold globally since 1989. The Discovery has also gone more upmarket in recent incarnations and comes with a price tag that pits it against executive motors.
It’s still a phenomenally capable off roader, however. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the Discovery 5 looks like.